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Donovan Smith, Mike Evans still out with injuries for Buccaneers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to have to miss left tackle Donovan Smith against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. He was sitting out today's practice, as were wide receiver Mike Evans and defensive end T.J. Fatinikunaccording to Greg Auman. Smith was in a boot after the third preseason game, which makes me think an early return is unlikely -- although Roy Cummings notes he's at least out of that boot now and Pewter Report says he "most likely" plays, so perhaps I'm too pessimistic.

With Smith possibly out, the Bucs are almost certain to turn to second-year fifth-round pick Kevin Pamphile at left tackle. Pamphile looked decent at left tackle late last season, and especially this preseason, even though he missed the last couple of preseason game with an injury. He seems to have recovered, though, and should be ready to go on Sunday. Given that Smith is a rookie who looked decent but not flawless in preseason, the dropoff from him to Pamphile should not be massive.

Evans' injury is not likely to keep him out of Sunday's game. He left the team's second preseason game with a hamstring injury and was held out of the past two preseason games as a precaution, but claimed that he could have played if necessary.

As for Fatinikun, the seriousness of his injuries remains mysterious. He missed most of the preseason with one injury, then suited up in the fourth preseason game before having to leave that one with a shoulder injury. He was set to be the first defensive end of the bench, but he'll have to be replaced by the newly-claimed Kourtnei Brown as well as defensive tackle Henry Melton, who worked at defensive end quite a bit this preseason.